infocus: Johnny Orlando
Updated: Sep 27, 2022
So it begins…
From internet darling to sweeping sensation: Johnny Orlando knows that he’s just getting started.
Johnny Orlando began posting covers on YouTube at the young age of 8. With the help of his sister, Darian Orlando, they uploaded a video of Johnny singing Mistletoe by Justin Bieber. “The first four years were basically just my sister and me. We’d go to a studio and record and then film the video and that was pretty much it. Everything you saw, unless I was audibly talking, was done by [my sister],” Johnny shares. They continued to post, amassing a decent amount of videos and a good number of subscribers along the way.
Oversized long sleeves button down shirt by BARÒ LABEL
Sheer tank top by RUSHXREI BESPOKE
Cream white baroque pearl necklace by CRUZ MNL
Beach ball chain necklace & sail chunky necklace by MAZEE
He would go on to release his debut EP at age 12 in 2015, which was soon followed by a quick move to sunny LA from his native Toronto for a period of about three years. There, he’d meet fellow musicians and learn about his craft until he moved back home for high school. “At that point, I was working on originals, songs we wrote ourselves, and we’d make music videos.” Johnny continued to widen his horizons by working on tours at age 15. “That was exciting because I was finally meeting more people who were also doing music.”
Despite the rapid pace of internet fame, Johnny’s pretty happy to have gone through a slow build. “Everything happened very naturally. There were never really any huge jumps in progress.” He points to the fact that he’s only releasing his first album eight years after signing with UMG, having chosen to pursue music post-high school.
“I put out my first real EPs, including the one I released when I was 12. It was terrible, to be honest,” he says, laughing. He’s proud to have taken the time to develop. “I actually did sessions with professional musicians who coached me through artistry and having a vision for things and concepts, which I knew about but I didn’t really know how to do. I made a couple of EPs and, two years ago, decided to make an album.”
Gold rings by LVNA BY DRAKE DUSTIN
“The album is kind of a series of unfortunate events.” Johnny points to songs like you’re just drunk, fun out of it, and leave the light on where relationships take a turn for the worse in a myriad of ways. “Like a collection of how things can go wrong.”
The name for the album didn’t come until he wrote the title track with his sister and fellow Canadian songwriter Scott Helman. “It’s the first song I wrote about my girlfriend,” he shares. “all the things that could go wrong was basically about how I was worried that I was gonna screw this [relationship] up. It was the biggest thing on my mind at the time and I thought it was just very scary.” Ultimately, it was his sister, Darian, who suggested it as the title.
Cropped stripe vest by HANSEN
Wire chain necklace & iced tennis bracelet by MAZEE
Even in the weeks before its release, Johnny knows that the work is never done. “I still kind of don’t feel ready, which is kind of the whole thing with art and stuff, but what I think about it is that there is really nothing I would change.” He goes on to point out details like flat notes and stray lines with fondness. “It’s not perfect, but it’s those little things that really make the album.”
Trousers by HANSEN
Loafers by MARQUINA SHOEMAKER
The album’s sound, on the other hand, is a reflection of what Johnny adores. Influences include artists like Kanye West (‘He’s a big influence on the drums.’) and Harry Styles, whose music inspired the album’s title track. The visuals also reflect Johnny’s love for butterflies, believing them to be a sign of good luck as well as an apt metaphor for his journey so far.
“I feel like the album is a sum of all the parts of everything that I love, all the things I listen to, and the environment I was in at the time. All in all, I would say that it’s very true to me.”
all the things that could go wrong is now available to stream on all digital streaming platforms.
Art Direction NICCA TAPANG
Styling by RUSH ROMANO x REI BUESING
Grooming AYRA ALECKZIS SALVADOR
Videography ARA MAY TANAGON, FATIMA ESMERO, ERWIN DEE
Video editor FATIMA ESMERO
Location BALARA CONTENT STUDIO
Managing Director ENZO VALDEZ
Senior Marketing Manager LUIGI MALLARI
International Marketing Manager IRIS MATABANG
International Marketing Executive JOHN BALBIN
Intern DALE ACEVEDO
Special thanks to:
Listen to Johnny Orlando here.